14 Best Sales Books to Boost Your Sales in 2020
June 25, 2020 10 min. read
Constantly mastering new approaches and honing your selling skills is a must for any sales person. No matter whether you are a newcomer or an experienced sales rep, you need to get yourself out there and learn learn learn.
Here are 14 sales books from the cult classic to freshest releases that are in our team’s opinion a must-read for any sales expert. We’d be curious to hear which ones are your favorite!
1. “Sell the way you buy” by David Premier (2020)
We frequently forget about how we act being “on the other side”. When it comes to sales, it’s a crucial mistake that prevents establishing the proper connection with clients. In Sell the Way You Buy, Priemer reveals scientifically supported methods of understanding your customer, identifying their needs, and moving them toward the right solution, all while avoiding the behaviors that make the average person dislike salespeople.
Sell the Way You Buy is about much more than putting yourself in the customer’s shoes. It’s about learning how to ask questions, how to listen, how to tell a compelling brand story, and how to talk to customers in a human way that truly connects. In short: to sell the way you buy.
2. “Sales Acceleration Formula” by Mark Roberge (2015)
The Sales Acceleration Formula provides a scalable, predictable approach to growing revenue and building a winning sales team. Everyone wants to build the next $100 million business and author Mark Roberge has actually done it using a unique methodology that he shares with his readers. As an MIT alum with an engineering background, Roberge challenged the conventional methods of scaling sales utilizing the metrics-driven, process-oriented lens through which he was trained to see the world. In this book, he reveals his formulas for success.
Readers will learn how to apply data, technology, and inbound selling to every aspect of accelerating sales, including hiring, training, managing, and generating demand. Use data, technology, and inbound selling to build a remarkable team and accelerate sales.
3. “SPIN Selling” by Neil Rackham (2015)
Published in 1988, the book is hinged on the results of the most extensive long-term study ever conducted in sales. Around 12 years and 1 million dollars were spent by Rachman and the Huthwaite corporation team to study over 35 000 sales calls and come up with the sales framework called S.P.I.N.
SPIN stands for the four different types of questions designed to make leads interested in your product or solution: Situation, Problem, Implication, and Need-payoff. Rackham answers key questions such as “What makes success in major sales” and “Why do techniques like closing work in small sales but fail in larger ones?” You will learn why traditional sales methods which were developed for small consumer sales, just won’t work for large sales and why conventional selling methods are doomed to fail in major sales.
4. “The Challenger Sale” by Matthew Dixon & Brent Adamson (2011)
What’s the secret to sales success? If you’re like most business leaders, you’d say it’s fundamentally about relationships and you’d be wrong. The best salespeople don’t just build relationships with customers. They challenge them. The need to understand what top-performing reps are doing that their average performing colleagues are not drove Matthew Dixon, Brent Adamson, and their colleagues at Corporate Executive Board to investigate the skills, behaviors, knowledge, and attitudes that matter most for high performance. And what they discovered may be the biggest shock to conventional sales wisdom in decades
Based on an exhaustive study of thousands of sales reps across multiple industries and geographies, The Challenger Sale argues that classic relationship building is a losing approach, especially when it comes to selling complex, large-scale business-to-business solutions. The authors’ study found that every sales rep in the world falls into one of five distinct profiles, and while all of these types of reps can deliver average sales performance, only one-the Challenger- delivers consistently high performance.
5. “Predictable Revenue” by Aaron Ross & Marylou Tyler (2011)
Discover the outbound sales process that, in just a few years, helped add $100 million in recurring revenue to Salesforce.com, almost doubling their enterprise growth… with zero cold calls. This is NOT another sales book about how to cold call or close deals. This is an entirely new kind of sales bible for CEOs, entrepreneurs and sales VPs to help you build a sales machine.
What you’ll learn from the book: What does it take for your sales team to generate as many highly-qualified new leads as you want, create predictable revenue, and meet your financial goals without your constant focus and attention. How an outbound sales process (“Cold Calling 2.0”), that without cold calls or a marketing budget, can generate a 9% response rate and millions of dollars from cold prospects. The Seven Fatal Sales Mistakes CEOs and Sales VPs (even experienced ones) make time and time again and much more.
6. “GAP Selling” by Keenan (2008)
Why should anyone allow you to “have 15 minutes of their time”? Only if these minutes will improve their lives. Your clients don’t care about you — they care about themselves and their needs. This is the definite truth that Keenan states in his audacious book.
People don’t buy from people they like. No! Your buyer doesn’t care about you or your product or service. It’s not your job to overcome objections, it’s your buyer’s. Closing isn’t a skill of good salespeople; it’s the skill of weak salespeople. Price isn’t the main reason salespeople lose the sale. Gap Selling shreds traditional and closely held sales beliefs that have been hurting salespeople for decades. In his unapologetic and irreverent style, Keenan breaks down the tired old sales myths causing today’s frustrating sales issues, to highlight a deceptively powerful new way to connect with buyers.
7. “Fanatical Prospecting“ by Jeb Blount (2015)
What’s the key to successful sales? The art of convincing or pleading for sympathy? None of those. For Jeb Blount, it’s a continual prospecting.
The author states that, indeed, true sales reps need to be fanatics. Not meaning that they have to sell by all means (well, not without this), but they should continually strive to keep their pipeline full of qualified prospects. Once the pipeline is empty, high performance is unachievable. This sales book describes a balanced methodology that may help to prevent such an outcome. How does a salesperson need to act like? How to activate all the prospecting channels possible? How to reach a consistent filling of your pipeline? All these questions were carefully asked and are worth exploring.
8. “Secrets of Closing the Sale” by Zig Ziglar (1982)
If selling had been declared a religion, this book would have been its Bible. First published in 1982, it provides the essential principles of successful sales, and has been widely acknowledged as the source of useful tips and inspiration for sales reps. The book includes over 100 successful closings for every kind of persuasion and over 700 questions that will open your eyes to new possibilities you may have overlooked.
The fabulous speaker of all times, Zin Ziglar shared dozens of advice on how to state the message correctly, listen to the clients, establish the right connection with them, activate the imagination, and make anyone say “OH YES, I WANT IT”. As the book is filled with examples, jokes, and illustrations, it gets even more noteworthy and pleasant, so don’t miss a chance to read it.
9. “The Ultimate Sales Machine” by Chet Holmes (2008)
Chet Holmes has been called “one of the top 20 change experts in the country.” He helps his clients blow away both the competition and their own expectations. And his advice starts with one simple concept: focus! Instead of trying to master four thousand strategies to improve your business, zero in on the few essential skill areas that make the big difference.
Too many managers jump at every new trend, but don’t stick with any of them. Instead, says Holmes, focus on twelve critical areas of improvement—one at a time—and practice them over and over with pigheaded discipline. The Ultimate Sales Machine shows you how to tune up and soup up virtually every part of your business by spending just an hour per week on each impact area you want to improve. Like a tennis player who hits nothing but backhands for a few hours a week to perfect his game, you can systematically improve each key area.
10. “Smart Calling” by Art Sobczak (2013)
This high-reviewed book illustrates effective techniques that do not only make cold calling less terrifying, confusing, and boring but even pleasant for both salesperson and prospects. Thus, such a friendly chat becomes the most effective tool to use — reaching the right first impression, sales reps are likely to hear the nice “Good afternoon, Mr…” next time, if not get ten calls per day from clients themselves.
Proven techniques to master the art of the cold call Cold calling is not only one of the fastest and most profitable ways to initiate a new sales contact and build business; it’s also one of the most dreaded—for the salesperson and the recipient. Smart Calling has the solution: Art Sobczak’s proven, never-experience-rejection-again system. Now in an updated 2nd Edition, it offers even smarter tips and techniques for prospecting new business while minimizing fear and rejection.
While other sales books on cold calling dispense long-perpetuated myths such “prospecting is a numbers game,” and salespeople need to “love rejection,” this book will empower readers to take action, call prospects, and get a yes every time.
11. “AGILE Selling” by Jill Konrath (2015)
Lack of time and plenty of information to absorb — these are the incompatible components that the bosses always want their employees to combine perfectly. As a result, even a promising sales specialist may not manage the pressure and, thus, underperform.
Jill Konrath generously helped all the newbies in sales to catch up with the basics quickly and get their skills up to the needed level. Necessary mindsets, learning strategies, inspiring insights, and tips… Using all these countless strategies packed in a single book, beginner sellers will both get familiarized with the essential principles of entering the sales game and learn the techniques to achieve high performance in the long run.
12. “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie (1936)
Do you want people to purchase? Learn how to convince them without making them scared or bored… Every salesperson should learn psychology to achieve more success.
In his well-known sales book released in 1936, the American writer and psychologist lists the vast number of tips helping to gain anyone’s affection. Among them are the essential techniques in handling people, six ways to make people like you, twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking, and nine ways to change people without arousing resentment. What a treasure for sales reps, huh? As well as for all the people in general.
13. “The Million-Pound Linkedin Message” by Daniel Disney (2019)
The author describes the story of a single message that resulted in a 1 Million pound deal. Impressive, isn’t it? Daniel is sure: everyone can achieve the same success. Thus, in the book, you will find 25 winning messages templates that can be easily adjusted to your purposes. Ready to register or feel like you need to work on the existing account? Disney hadn’t left this crucial thing neglected — the advice on building a solid profile is also included. Hurry up to explore the sales book and multiply sales revenue by sending the right message to a prospect while having your morning coffee.
14. “Secrets of Question-Based Selling” by Thomas Freese (1999)
Sellers must differentiate themselves and their products to have a strategic advantage, but while companies all over the world spend millions of dollars telling their salespeople “what to say,” they spend almost nothing teaching them “what to ask.”
Question Based Selling is a common-sense approach to sales based on the theory that “what” a salesperson asks and “how” they ask, is more important than what they will ever say. It makes sense because in order to present solutions, sellers must first uncover a need. How do you uncover and expand the customer’s need? QBS will show you!
We hope you enjoyed our list of top sales books!
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